Festivals must remove drugs from sewage water themselves, says Brabant water board 16:43 in Regional news The drug residues end up in the water through urine and feces of festival goers.

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During festivals, large amounts of drug residues end up in the wastewater

In association with
Broadcasting Brabant
NOS News

Not the water board, but festivals themselves must clean wastewater before it goes to the sewer. This is the opinion of the De Dommel water board, writes Omroep Brabant. According to the water board, large amounts of drug residue end up in the water during festivals.

Cleaning that water is expensive and the perpetrator – the festival organization – should have to pay for the costs, says water board director Bas Peeters in the Eindhovens Dagblad. “It cannot be explained to the taxpayer,” he says.

Drinking water

The drug residues end up in the water through urine and feces of festival goers. Some of it is filtered, but not all. Waste materials end up via the Maas in the basins that are used for drinking water in Rotterdam and the surrounding area. Moreover, it is bad for fish and plants, according to Peeters.

Treatment plants were originally built to remove organic substances from the sewage, but nowadays there are many more chemicals in the wastewater. This is how medicine residues, microplastics, PFAS and drug waste end up in the water.


De Dommel Water Board will open a special installation next week that filters medicine residues from the water, costing 14 million euros. That installation does not filter drug residues; this requires a different installation: an installation that would mainly be used during the festival months and would be idle for the rest of the year.

Companies have been obliged to purify their wastewater through permits for some time, says Peeters. Discussions are also being held with hospitals about removing medicine residues from the water themselves. According to Peeters, festivals are a logical next step. He cannot estimate what it would cost the festivals to purify wastewater themselves.

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  • In association with

    Broadcasting Brabant

  • Regional news

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